Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grace The Foundation of Faith

Message on Romans 4:1-16, by Pastor Ron Bridge of Rehoboth Baptist Church given on June 20, 2010

"No one had, or ever could be, good enough to earn salvation. All stand condemned by the law and subject to the wrath of God. If anyone is to be saved it must be by another way. It must be not by trying to be good, because no one can. It is by simply believing in Jesus Christ, faith in Him alone.

Now we ask the obvious question, where does that faith come from? What is its origin? Paul has made it clear that it does not originate in man. The faith that saves does not originate in man, and it cannot originate in man.

He's taken great pains, two and a half chapters of the opening chapters of Romans to prove that pleasing God is impossible by a man who is fallen in sin and all men are fallen in sin. The fallen nature cannot please God and yet faith is something that does please God so therefore it cannot originate out of the fallen nature. It must come from somewhere outside himself. It must be supplied to him by God.

Thus we see that faith is a gift of God according to His grace. Grace the unmerited favor that God pours out on the undeserving is the foundation of the faith by which God justifies the ungodly." -Pastor Bridge

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Steve Lawson on Studying God's Word

This is a video clip from a Q&A session from Resolved 2010.

Here's a guy that hated to read and study until God got a hold of him!

Steve Lawson on studying God's Word
from Resolved on Vimeo.
Listen to all the messages delivered at Resolved 2010 here.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Who Jesus Is

There is no more important subject in the whole Word of God than that concerning the doctrine of Christ. The name Jesus itself suggests the fact that He is God. Jesus means "Jehovah the Saviour," and Jehovah of the Old Testament presents Him as the Self-existent One. In the New Testament Jesus refers to Himself many times as the "I AM," revealing who He is by His very name. (See Exodus 3:14; John 8:58.)

Isaiah, some 700 years before the birth of Jesus, prophesied that "a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel" (7:14). In Matthew 1:23 we hear that His name, referring to Jesus who was to be born of Mary, was to be called "Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." Nothing could be clearer. The Lord Jesus is God who has come in the Person of His Son--God became man.

In Revelation 1:17 we hear Jesus saying, "Fear not; I am the First and the Last." See also Isaiah 44:6. There is none before Him, none after Him. These Scriptures set Him forth as the Eternal One, the One who never had a beginning, who will never have an ending. This is who Jesus is.

Also in Isaiah 9:6 we read these wonderful words, "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." There is no question as to whom this refers. The Lord Jesus Himself is a Child born; He is the Son who was given. The Scriptures could not speak plainer to tell us that Jesus is the mighty God, the Father of eternity. He was the mighty God in the manger in Bethlehem, on the cross of Calvary, and now in the glory.

Jesus is the Son of God in the unity of the Godhead, commonly known as the Trinity. This truth is seen many places in the Bible, including the very first chapter, Genesis 1:1,27. Matthew 28:19 also reveals this truth in the commission to go and baptize all nations "in the name (singular) of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost." There is but one God, yet they are three distinct Persons united together in substance, having one purpose, one name.

As Son, the Lord Jesus Christ is coequal with the Father. John 10:30 says, "I and My Father are one." See also John 5:17,18. Jesus is God, the Son of God, God the Son.

Jesus is the Creator and Upholder of all things, as seen in Colossians 1, Hebrews 1, and John 1. "By Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist (subsist together)" (Colossians 1:16,17).

According to John 1:1,14, Jesus is the Eternal Word. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." Revelation 19:13 tells us that "His name is called The Word of God." As the eternal Word, Jesus has communicated to us the purposes and love of God for sinful man.

Finally, Jesus is the Eternal Life. "The Son of God has come...This is the true God, and eternal life" (1 John 5:20).

--Donald T. Johnson

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Far Too Easily Pleased

Bringing to life a quote from CS Lewis.

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“If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the reward promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

- C.S. Lewis


Friday, June 25, 2010

The Doctrine of Regeneration by John MacArthur

...But when you're talking about being born, you're really talking about coming into existence and no one who is not in existence and comes into existence does so based upon something they did, or something they desired, or something they sought. If the Lord wants to talk about what we do, He talks about repentance. If He wants to talk about what we do, He talks about faith. But when the Bible starts talking about being born again, it no longer is talking about anything that you or I could do.

The analogy itself describes a reality to which the one born can by definition make no contribution. We were all born completely apart from any consideration or effort on our part...unless you believe in reincarnation and some kind of pre-birth consciousness which, of course, is completely foreign to the Word of God and untrue. The person being born coming into existence, comes into existence apart from any desire or any action on his own behalf. Birth happens to us not because we desire it, not because we want it, or not because we followed the steps to be born. And that is exactly the point of the analogy.

As I said before, when the Lord chooses an analogy, He chooses an analogy to convey a spiritual truth that is inherent in the simplest understanding of that analogy. It's not complex to say you didn't do anything to be born into this world, and then to say then you do not do anything to be born into the realm of God's world. That is the reason God chose that analogy. No one gives himself physical life, and no one gives himself or herself spiritual life. There are no steps that you do to become alive, either physically or spiritually.

So being born again or being regenerated is clearly an analogy that speaks of something that happens to us apart from us. And by the way, this is not an isolated concept in the Bible, it is a fairly unmistakable, clear and repeated idea.

Now to cut to the very important bottom line, if you will, this idea of regeneration or being born again or new birth is unmistakably presented in the Scripture as the first divine act in salvation. It is primary, theologians say, in what they call the Ordo Salutis, the order of salvation. It is the first thing God does to save us. The only feature that comes before regeneration is election, and that was in eternity past before the foundation of the world.

In time, in life, in reality the first thing God does when He sets to save His elect is to regenerate them. God calls the elect to Himself, we saw this last Sunday night, with an unyielding summons. Maybe the best thing to call it is power grace...power grace draws the sinner. John 6:44, Jesus said, "No man comes unto Me except the Father draw him," that's the effectual call, that's the irresistible grace. Or I like it better, that's the power grace, that's the unyielding summons, that's the divine subpoena. And all whom the Father calls we saw in our study...

Read or listen to the full sermon here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Ministry of Suffering

The ministry of suffering may be considered as threefold: as it affects ourselves; as it affects our relation to other sufferers; and last and most important of all, as it affects our relation to God.

In Relation to Ourselves

Let us read 1 Peter 5:10, "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."

Here we see the grace and glory of God brought together for the purpose of cheering and comforting a suffering people. It looks as if in some way the suffering which is for "a while" has something to do with their perfecting. We know that suffering does not perfect the body, therefore the perfecting must be by way of spiritual development. There are graces which need the soil of pain and grief in order that they may be brought forth in us. We can conceive of love, joy, and peace abounding amid a scene of perfect calm, but it is not possible that longsuffering could be perfected under such conditions. Patience is a Christian grace of rare quality and highly valued by God Himself, but patience can only grow in the soil of tribulation.

In Relation to Others

Suffering is given us in order that we may be able to bear the heavenly blessing of comfort to others who suffer. This is made plain in 2 Corinthians 1:3,4: "Blessed be ... the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."

The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, but He operates through human instrumentality. It is indeed a blessed privilege to be able to touch with the hand of love and sympathy some suffering member of the body of Christ and to pour the healing balm of comfort into some crushed and grief-stricken heart. But in order to qualify for this Christ-like ministry we ourselves must have been comforted of God. The words spoken may be few, the deed of kindness done may be small in itself, but if the grace of consolation flows in word and deed, and heart blends with heart in sorrow, then the weary sufferer is rested and refreshed as in the embrace of love divine.

In Relation to God

The highest end ever reached through suffering is a prepared fitness and enlarged capacity for the enjoyment of fellowship with God.

He is the God of all grace, the God of patience and consolation, the God of love and peace, a God full of compassion and gracious, longsuffering, plenteous in mercy and truth. These attributes and excellencies are all in God. The entrance of sin into the world has provided the opportunity for their display through the activities of love in the work of redemption.

When the morning of the eternal day has dawned and the cry of pain and sorrow shall be heard no more, then shall we know the full meaning of all the suffering which is meted out to saints of God today. The weight and measure of eternal glory which shall rest upon the redeemed shall proclaim to all the universe the perfect wisdom of God, and the true value of the life of faith, lived amid the sin and woe of this wicked world.

--Condensed from "The Mystery and Ministry of Suffering" by Robert McMurdo


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Christian Service by A.W. Pink

August, 1947

Christian service is obviously the service of a Christian, and if words have any meaning, it is the work he does or the duty he discharges unto another in the character of a servant. That raises four questions:

What is a "servant"?

What are the distinctive marks of a servant?

Whose servant is he, or who is his master? —for master and servant are just as truly correlative terms as are husband and wife, parent and children.

What is the nature of the "service" unto which Christians, all Christians, are called by God?

If all ambiguity of thought and confusion of terms is to be avoided—then we need to obtain answers to those questions from the Word of truth, and then "hold fast the form of sound words" (2 Timothy 1:13) and not perplex ourselves and mislead other people by using them in a way quite foreign from their Scriptural import. God's Word is made up of words, and as soon as we wrest its language and invest its terms with a signification different from the way in which the Spirit has used them, we land into error.

What is "Christian service"? Many of our readers, especially American ones, will deem it unnecessary to ask such a question. One of the favorite slogans over there is, "We are saved to serve." When special meetings are held for Christians, for "the deepening of the spiritual life," for "a baptism of the Spirit," or for entering upon "the victorious life," one of the pleas used is, "Such an experience is necessary to fit you for Christian service."

On the lips of many religious people, "Christian service" signifies Christian usefulness: to be a regular attender at church, and a liberal contributor to its finances; to become teacher of a class, or leader of a young people's society; to engage in evangelistic activities, and do personal work; to "witness for Christ" by verbally announcing His power to save and satisfy, telling others of "what He means to me."

Yet, as the term is used in Scripture, one may do all those things—and not be engaged in any Christian service! When Christ said "you cannot serve God and mammon" (Matthew 6:24), it is clear He did not mean, Be useful unto mammon or bear witness for mammon; but rather, be a lover of and subject unto it. The word is quite plainly defined in "Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as servants—you are servants to the one whom you obey" (Romans 6:16). Thus, such expressions as "the servants of sin" (Romans 6:20), "serving divers lusts and pleasures" (Titus 3:3), "the servants of corruption" (2 Peter 2:19) mean being the willing and obedient subjects of sin, lusts, corruption.

A "servant" is one who is not at his own disposal—but is at the beck and call of another, having voluntarily yielded and agreed to do his bidding. It is thus we find him described in the scriptures: "Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters [for an intimation of their will], and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God" (Psalm 123:2). Such too is the New Testament description. Said the centurion, "For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it" (Luke 7:8).

Servants—then, are not in their own power to please themselves—but are under the control of another, to be employed entirely at his discretion.

Now the Christian is God's "servant." He is so by purchase (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). He is so by covenant, having solemnly entered into a compact with God, to perform the duties of a servant—that he may enjoy the privileges of one. He has recognized and yielded to God's claims upon him. Previously, he was his own servant, fulfilling the desires of the flesh, gratifying himself. But upon his conversion, he surrendered to the Lordship of Christ, took His yoke upon him, to henceforth submit to His rule over him and be subject unto His will in all things.

Thus, to "serve the Lord" is not to do something for him—as though we showed Him a favor—but it is to render something unto Him. It is to perceive His just requirement of me, to own His absolute authority, to dedicate myself wholly unto Him. It signifies that I take the place and honestly endeavor to discharge the obligations of a servant; and a "servant" is one who does as his Master bids him, who seeks to please Him and promote His interests.

Above, we pointed out what "serving" mammon does not signify; let us now define it positively. To "serve" mammon is to love riches and make them my dominant quest, to devote all my faculties and energies unto the acquiring of the same. So, to "serve" Christ is to love Him, to give Him the supreme place in my heart and life, to devote all my powers and strength unto the doing of what He requires, and abstain from all He prohibits. Love to Christ is to be expressed in obedience unto Him: "If you love me—keep my commandments" (John 14:15).

God glories in His people in this particular character: "My servant Moses" (Num 12:7), "My servant David" (2 Samuel 7:8), "My servant Job" (Job 1:8). As the saints glory in being able to say "my God," "my Lord," "my Savior;" so God glories in them as His "servants" because He has honor and pleasure by such. It is our honor to be God's servants; and He is pleased to consider Himself honored by our obedience, yes, more so than by our worship: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams." (1 Samuel 15:22). He was supremely honored when His own beloved Son took upon Him "the form of a servant" (Philippians 2:7). Said the Father, "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delights" (Isaiah 42:1).

And of what consisted the service of Christ? In ministering unto others, in dying for sinners? Incidentally, yes: but fundamentally and essentially, in that He came not to do His own will, "but the will of him who sent" Him (John 6:38), in that He "became obedient unto death" (Philippians 2:8)!

"Christian service," then, is the response made by a regenerate soul unto the Lordship of Christ, the voluntary and hearty subjecting of himself to His dominion, the carrying out of His revealed will. In a word, it consists of obedience unto God: not merely in one particular or direction only—but in a full and entire obedience. Christian service is a running in "the way of [His] commandments" (Psalm 119:32), an acknowledging Him "in all [our] ways" (Proverbs 3:6); and that calls for a diligent searching of the Scriptures, that we may ascertain the details of His will and discover those things which are pleasing or displeasing unto Him.

But am I not to "witness for Christ"? Certainly—but how? By your lips, or your life? By your words, or your works? "Let your light so shine"—and light shines silently, though nonetheless effectively. We are to "show forth the praises of him" (1 Peter 2:9) in the home, in the office, factory, shop, in the world; and unless we do so there, God will not accept what we do in the church. Only so far as our daily walk is regulated by Christ's precepts—are we serving Him.

Most of the so-called "Christian service" which now prevails in the religious world, is seen and heard by men—but much of the service which God has appointed His people is beheld by none but Himself. Most that passes for "Christian service" has a tendency to puff up with a sense of self-importance; but that which God assigns humbles, by a realization of how far short we come of measuring up to His standard. Much of the humanly invented "service" is wrought in the energy of the flesh, whereas that which God requires from us can only be performed by the enabling of His grace. Those activities now so prevalent in the religious realm occupy with the creature—but that service which God has enjoined fixes the eye on His glory.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Justified By Faith Alone

Message on Romans 3:27-31, by Pastor Ron Bridge of Rehoboth Baptist Church given on June 13, 2010

"What is faith? It is a heart felt belief that what God has done in Christ is the sufficient and only means of salvation. It is to believe what God has said is true and that if anyone does that, does believe in the person and the work of Christ and believes from the heart, they will be saved." -Pastor Bridge

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An Impossible Yet Powerful Gospel

by Paul David Washer

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” Romans 1:16

An Impossible Gospel

The Apostle Paul’s flesh had every reason to be ashamed of the Gospel he preached because it contradicted absolutely everything that was held to be true and sacred among his contemporaries. Yet there is still another reason for fleshly shame: The Gospel is an absolutely impossible, unbelievable message; a ludicrous word to the wise of the world.

As Christians, we sometimes fail to realize how utterly astounding it is when anyone truly believes our message. In a sense, the Gospel is so farfetched that its spread throughout the Roman Empire is proof of its supernatural nature. What could ever bring a Gentile, completely unaware of Old Testament Scriptures and rooted in either Greek philosophy or pagan superstitions, to believe such a message about a man named Jesus?

He was born under questionable circumstances to a poor family in one of the most despised regions of the Roman Empire; and yet, the Gospel claims that he was the eternal Son of God who had been conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a Jewish virgin.

He was a carpenter by trade and an itinerant religious teacher with no official training; and yet, the Gospel claims that he surpassed the combined wisdom of every Greek philosopher and Roman sage of antiquity.

He was poor and had no place to lay his head; and yet, the Gospel claims that for three years he fed thousands by a word, healed every manner of illness among men, and even raised the dead.

He was crucified outside of Jerusalem as a blasphemer and an enemy of the state; and yet, the Gospel claims that his death was the pivotal event in all of human history and the only means of salvation from sin and reconciliation to God.

He was placed in a borrowed tomb; and yet, the Gospel claims that on the third day he rose from the dead and presented himself to many of his followers. Forty days later, he ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. Thus, the Gospel claims that a poor Jewish carpenter, who was rejected as a lunatic and a blasphemer by his own people and crucified by the state, is now the Savior of the World, the Lord of lords and the King of kings. At his name, every knee, including Caesar’s, will bow.

Who could have ever believed such a message except by the power of God? There is no other explanation. The Gospel would have never made its way out of Jerusalem, let alone, beyond the Roman Empire and into every nation of the world, except that God had ordained to work through it. The message would have died at its birth had it depended upon the organizational abilities, eloquence, or apologetic powers of its preachers. All the missionary strategies in the world and all the clever marketing schemes borrowed from Wall Street could have never advanced this foolish, stumbling block of a message.

This truth brings both encouragement and warning to those of us who endeavor to advance the faith in which we have believed. First, it is an encouragement to know that the simple, faithful proclamation of the Gospel will ensure its continued advance in the world. Secondly, it is a warning to us that we not succumb to the lie that we can advance the Gospel through our brilliance, eloquence, or clever strategies. Such things have no power to bring about the “impossible” conversion of men. We must cast ourselves with hopeful desperation upon the only biblical means of advancing the Gospel - the bold and clear proclamation of a message about which we are not ashamed because: “It is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes!”

Continue reading here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Can We Still Believe in Romans 8:28?

I do not have to tell you that Romans 8:28 is one of the most beloved verses in the Bible. You know that. Many of you could give testimony to that fact. You were sick and this verse was like medicine to your soul. You lost a loved one and these words somehow carried you through. You were crushed and beaten by the winds of ill-fortune and this verse--and only this verse!--gave you hope to go on.

Therefore it shocks us to know that it is often without consoling power. There are some who secretly doubt it. They hear this verse quoted and instead of a balm to the soul, it is a mocking, cruel joke. But like it or not, it's in the Bible. And it won't go away. Which brings us back to the basic question: Can we still believe in Romans 8:28?

The Emphasis Needs To Be Reversed

We will never properly understand this verse as long as we put God at the end and not at the beginning. But some people look at life that way. They believe that after a tragedy God shows up to make everything come out right. But that's not the biblical view at all. In reality, God is there at the beginning and He is there at the end and He is at every point in between. The point is, we must see the active involvement of God. What happens to you and to me is not the mechanical turning of some impersonal divine wheels. It is not fate or kismet or karma or luck. God is actively at work in your life!!!

Is Paul saying that whatever happens is good? No. Is he saying that suffering and evil and tragedy are good? No. Is he saying that we will be able to understand why God allowed tragedy to come? No. What, then, is he saying? He is erecting a sign over the unexplainable mysteries of life--a sign which reads "Quiet. God at work." How? We're not always sure. To what end? Good, and not evil. That's what Romans 8:28 is saying.

We Need A Long-Term Perspective

Our danger is that we will judge the end by the beginning. Or, to be more exact, that we will judge what we cannot see by what we can see. Here is where Romans 8:28 gives us some real help. Paul says, "And we know that all things work together for good." That phrase work together is really one word--sunergon--in Greek. We get our English word "synergy" from it. And what is synergy? It is what happens when you put two or more elements together to form something brand new that neither could form separately.

Suppose you go to visit one of the mammoth automobile factories. What you will see is an enormous building that covers many acres. At one end they bring in the raw materials and various components of an automobile--the engine, the wheels, the chassis, the body, the windshield, the seats, and so on. Some of the parts you recognize; others are unfamiliar. But all of it is constantly being unloaded and brought inside. At the other end of the building--a vast distance away--a new car rolls out.

Paul is saying that our experience is like that. God begins with the raw materials of life, including some parts that seem to serve no good purpose. Those materials are joined with pressure and heat and then they are bent and shaped and joined together. Over time something beautiful is created. Not by accident, but by a divine design. And nothing is ever wasted in the process. That is how we must look at life. We must not judge the end by the beginning, but rather the beginning by the end.

We Must Define The Word "Good"

This is the crux of the matter. Paul says that "All things work together for good." But what is the "good" he is talking about? For most of us, "good" equals things like health, happiness, solid relationships, long life, money, food on the table, meaningful work and a nice place to live. In general, we think the "good" life means a better set of circumstances.

Once again, that's not necessarily the biblical viewpoint. Paul defines it for us in the very next verse--"For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son" (Romans 8:29). That makes it very clear. God has predestined you and me to a certain end. That certain end is the "good" of Romans 8:28. That certain end is that we might be conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ.

When Paul says that all things work together for good, he is not saying that the tragedies and heartaches of life will always produce a better set of circumstances. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. But God is not committed to making you healthy, wealthy, and wise. He is committed to making you like His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. And whatever it takes to make you more like Jesus is good.

This, I think, is our greatest problem with Romans 8:28. Our good and God's good are not the same. We want happiness and fulfillment and peace and long life. Meanwhile, God is at work in us and through us and by everything that happens to us to transform us into the image of his Son.

We Must Understand The Limitation Of This Verse

Notice the last phrase of Romans 8:28. It is a promise "to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." That is an all-important limitation. This verse is true of Christians and only of Christians. It is not a blanket promise to the whole human race. Why? Because God's purpose is to make his children one day like His Son.

Therefore we may truly say that Romans 8:28 is an evangelistic verse. And we can ask two simple questions: 1. Have you ever responded to God's call? 2. Are you part of God's saving purpose?

You either answer "Yes" or "No" to those questions. There is no middle ground. Until you can answer "Yes," this verse does not apply to you.

What Is Your Alternative?

Can we still believe in Romans 8:28? Let me answer the question with another question. What is your alternative? If you don't believe in Romans 8:28, what do you believe in? Fate? Chance? The impersonal forces of nature?

Yes, we can--and must--believe in Romans 8:28. It is teaching us one great truth--all things ultimately contribute to the ultimate good of those who love God.

That does not answer every question. But it does answer the big question: Does God know what He is doing? Yes he does ... and we know Him ... and that is enough.

--Condensed from a message by Ray Pritchard

Monday, June 14, 2010

Regeneration and Self-Denial

Excerpt of a message given by Paul Washer on Ezekiel 36:22-27 and Matthew 13:44

But self-denial, what it truly is, is this….and I’ve written it down. It’s the reality of a new creature, simply living out what he has become through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, living according to his new nature, doing the righteous deeds that he now loves, and putting off the sinful deeds of the fallen unregenerate flesh which he now hates. It is the willing and joyful response of the regenerate man whose mind has grasped something of God’s glory, something of the worth of Christ’s sacrifice and something of the greatness of the salvation that has been so freely given to him.

So we are not talking in self-denial about this grudging, horrid, popish type of thing, but this thing of a new creature who has been transformed by the power of God, has been given a new heart that loves and desires righteousness, has been given spiritual eyes so that when, first of all after being regenerate, opens those eyes and sees the beauty and the wonder of Christ, desires Him, and is irresistibly drawn to Him. I’m talking about a Gospel with power, a Gospel of power, and when you believe in a Gospel of power and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, you no longer have to depend upon the arm of the flesh and all the silly little travesties and Ferris wheels that are built in the name of Jesus in order to attract people. It is not just a Gospel of truth, but a Gospel of power...

But when you grasp the power of regeneration, everything else begins to fall in place and until you grasp the power of regeneration, you cannot understand the doctrine and the calling to self-denial. Let me just give you an example of this before we read Ezekiel….another little definition I’ve written about man. Man is a fallen, radically depraved, spiritually dead, morally corrupt, sin-loving, God-hating creature. In the very core of his being, he is as opposed to God as the devil himself. He cannot change and has no desire to do so. He loves a lie and will do everything in his power to restrain and suppress any and every truth about God and the more he knows about God, the more he hates Him, because God is righteous and man is evil.

Now, how do you take something like that, how do you expect a creature like that to all of a sudden hear a Gospel message of self-denial and turn his back on absolutely everything he is and at all cost follow the Christ? How can you expect a man to take a journey of a thousand miles if he’s neither willing nor able to take the first step? And this idea of, well, as the brother put it, “Well, let’s get them saved and then gradually introduce them to salvation and to discipleship and to the call to self-denial.” But I want to tell you something. It is not any easier to coax a dead man to take one step than it is to coax him to take a million. If he’s dead, he’s dead. And within that is found the power of regeneration.

Because I, as a preacher, an itinerant, nothing, little preacher, because of my belief in the power of the Gospel and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, I can look at the most defiled man on the face of the earth and tell him to forsake his mother, his father, his lands, his home, his own life, and I can expect that, out of the group of them, somebody’s coming out. I do not have to lay down the bar on the Gospel. I can bid men to come and die from the very moment I speak with them because I believe in the power of resurrection. Someone says, “How can you expect a man to do that?”

I say, “Well, let me answer that with another question. How can Ezekiel command bones to live? And how can Jesus cry out to a dead man and tell him to come forth?” Because salvation is not just some mere, tiny, puny, human decision. It is the supernatural work of God. I would submit to you that there is more power revealed in the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit in the life of one sinner than all the power revealed in the six days of Creation. We need to believe that; then, we don’t have to succumb to trickery and device. We’re not looking for missionaries. I see all kinds of boys go in front of me. I want one man who’ll take one open Bible, walk out in the middle of the town square, and preach until they kill him or someone comes out of there born again, because that’s all that’s required. The truth. The more we fill our lives up with all sorts of silly things, the less God’s power is going to be revealed in our lives.

Listen to the full sermon using the media player below.

Download mp3 here.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Want Your Life to Go Well? Stay Away from Jesus!

John Piper preaching on suffering @ TBI Seminar November 08, 2008

If you can't see the media player, click on the post title.


The Righteousness of God Revealed

Message on Romans 3:21-26, by Pastor Ron Bridge of Rehoboth Baptist Church given on June 6, 2010

"The passage before us this morning contains some of the most glorious and highest doctrine of the entire Bible, and as such it must rank among the greatest words ever written. Martyn Lloyd Jones, he called it the great turning point in the letter of Paul to the Romans." -Pastor Bridge

If you can't see the media player, click on the post title.

Download mp3 here

Friday, June 11, 2010

USA a Mission Field?

This article was written back in 1993. How much more is it true today?

The ills that plague the United States today are evidenced in every area of this once God-fearing nation. Undoubtedly they stem from the removal of the fear of the Lord and His Word from government, schools, churches and homes. In their place evolutionary theories with their resulting humanistic and pantheistic religions are overspreading the land. Abortion (4,000 daily) drugs, immorality (called "life-styles"), astrology and other new age (but age-old) deceptions abound and increase with alarming rapidity.

There is a generation of Americans who have been raised without God and need to be reached with the gospel of God's grace. Believers living in the United States are already in a land of great opportunity, a needy mission field.

Mission roles are now reversed. Whereas the Western world used to be the source of missionaries to other parts of the globe, now the number of Third World missionaries will soon equal that of the Western world. As foreign lands have been evangelized (almost 80% of the world's population has been reached with the gospel), they too have obeyed the great commission to go forth with the gospel. They are finding that nations which used to be God-fearing lands, and were used to bring the gospel to them, now are in the darkness of unbelief. Two-thirds of all evangelical Christians alive today are in non-Western countries.

The United States is going in the wrong direction spiritually. May the Lord give each believing citizen a burden for the souls of those in their neighborhoods, towns, cities and governments who are being swept along with the rising tide of evil flooding our country. We should all be missionaries who like Paul and others of the New Testament were sent forth with the gospel of Christ to save souls and then to instruct them in the truths of Scripture. May we all "do the work of an evangelist" (2 Timothy 4:5), "teaching (making disciples of) all nations" (Matthew 28:19,20), including the USA.

--Tim Johnson

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Four Powerful Testimonies

These four testimonies represent millions of untold people in America who believe themselves to be right with God because they have bought in to an easy form of Christianity that is nothing more than an insurance policy to save a person from hell. Christ's power is not only to save one from hell, but to change His followers by giving them new hearts and making them more like Him in a lifelong process called sanctification. If you didn't change, then you are not one of His. Please watch these testimonies and examine your own testimony.

If you can't see the media player, click on the post title.



8 Snares Set by Fear of Man

by Jamie Munson Lead Pastor at Mars Hill Church

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
–Proverbs 8:3–4

We often care about other people’s opinion more than we care about God’s opinion. We worry about our status among fellow humans because we fail to grasp our identity in Jesus. When we fear man, we’re vulnerable. (I addressed this issue recently in a sermon about The Parable of the Sower—how fear of man keeps us from bearing fruit in our lives.)

“The fear of man lays a snare,” the Bible says, “but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe” (Proverbs 29:25). Here are eight consequences—snares—that can result from fear of man:
1. Idolatry. When we care about what man thinks more than what God thinks, we turn people into idols that we worship—seeking to please them in order to earn their approval or respect.

2. Ineffectiveness. When we fear man we neglect God’s calling for us and we lose focus on executing the tasks in front of us because we’re too preoccupied with what others are thinking.

3. Lack of love. When we’re overly concerned with “getting it right,” we turn people into projects to accomplish. We withhold our compassion and grow reserved and calculating in our pursuit of people.

4. Fakeness. If you’re overly motivated by the opinions of others, you won’t act like yourself. You’ll be a chameleon, adapting yourself to any situation for the sole purpose of fitting in.

5. Apathy. Fear man and you’ll quit taking risks because of the potential for embarrassment in failure. If an endeavor is unlikely to succeed, you’ll never take the chance. In other words, you’ll never do much of anything.

6. Dishonesty. It’s tough to speak truth into someone’s life because the truth can be painful. If we fear somebody’s response, however, necessary words will remain unsaid because we care more about ourselves (being liked) than we do about the person (seeing Jesus work in their life). This negligence always creates more long-term damage than the hurt it avoids in the present.

7. Isolation. Fear of man won’t let you delegate anything because others might not do a good job (or they might do a better job), which could reflect poorly on your performance and reputation. Fear of man compels you to control everything—even if that means going it alone.

8. Decision Paralysis. When we live out of fear rather than out of the convictions God has given us, we spin in circles unable to move forward.
I invite you to join me in respecting and honoring others and submitting to authority, but also in repenting of our fear of man. Fear and worship are reserved for God. In the end, only his opinion counts.


Monday, June 7, 2010

FOR HIM - Paul Washer - Sermon Jam

Paul Washer is preaching on how it is all FOR HIM, for God and HIS GLORY alone.

If you can't see the media player, click on the post title.

HT: Defending. Contending.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Repentance Unto Life

"When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life" (Acts 11:18).

This unique expression, "repentance unto life," teaches us that there must be repentance on the part of the sinner before eternal life is received. This may seem to contradict many Scriptures (such as John 3:16) which clearly reveal that eternal life is received by FAITH, but in reality the two must accompany one another. Paul preached, "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). And the Lord Jesus Himself declared, "Repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15).

The necessity of repentance becomes clearer when we consider its meaning. Repentance means "a change of mind." In the Biblical sense it means for one to "change his mind" about sin. God has said in His Word that we are all sinners by nature (Psa. 51:5; Romans 5:19a) and sinners by practice (Romans 3:23). When a sinner repents, he takes God's side against himself, owning up to the fact that he is guilty before a holy God (see Romans 3:10-19). Until this occurs, the sinner will not see his need of the salvation God has provided. But when this vital "change of mind" takes place, the sinner will then be ready to avail himself of God's wonderful salvation and it will only be a matter of time before faith in Christ crucified and risen is exercised. It was so with the Gentile company that Peter preached to (Acts 10), and it has been the experience of every truly penitent sinner.
"Which comes first, repentance or faith? The two are so intimately related that you cannot have one without the other. The fact is, no man believes the gospel until he has judged himself as a needy sinner before God, and this is repentance." --H.A.Ironside
Before going on, may I ask the reader, "Has this been your experience?" That is, "Have you taken your place as the sinner you are before a holy God, and by faith received the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord?" If not, I would implore you to do so.

For the readers who are believers, let us take to heart the truth we have been considering and be sure to give repentance its proper place in our witnessing to the lost souls around us. The tendency today is to speak very briefly (if at all) about man's totally depraved condition and of how he is utterly lost and unable to save himself. The love of God in providing His Son to be the Saviour of the world is the focus, and this only serves to "sugar-coat" the gospel. We must be faithful in first presenting to the sinner his need of salvation before we rush into the good news of how God has provided for that need. And let us not shy away from using the word repent or repentance in our entreaties to the lost. With all solemnity Jesus said twice to the sinners of His day, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish (Luke 13:3,5). Peter's word to the conscience-stricken crowd on the day of Pentecost was, "repent" (Acts 2:38). Later the apostle Paul declared that God "now commandeth all men every where to repent" (Acts 17:30).

Many have mistakenly thought that by employing such language (the very language of Scripture!) they would give their hearers to think that there was some merit in the act of repenting. But we must remember that repentance is but the owning of one's true condition before God and there is surely no merit in that. If one discovers and admits that he has some terrible disease, does that discovery and admittance heal him? Certainly not! But then he is in a position where he is able to seek out help. And just so with the one who repents. Upon the discovery and admittance of his malady of sin, he is then in a position to seek the One who can heal him. And we can rest assured that if God has "granted him repentance," it will be "unto life." That is, he will find in Christ's death and resurrection the divine remedy for his loathsome condition, and will be made to see that "with His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).

In closing, let us reflect on God's grace in relation to repentance. It has been almost 2,000 years since Jesus commissioned His disciples "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name among all nations" (Luke 24:47). God has, in grace, withheld His judgment that will eventually fall upon this ungodly, Christ-rejecting world. We read of the certainty of that judgment, and of why He withholds it, in 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise [of judgment], as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." How precious to realize that the same "goodness of God" that leads men to repentance (Romans 2:4), also causes God to wait for men to repent. And when one is brought to own his sinful condition before God, how sweet it is to know that all heaven rejoices "over one sinner that repenteth" (Luke 15:7,10).

--Dennis J. Oberg

Salvation, Not Probation

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9).

Salvation, to use the words of another, is in no sense a probation. To be saved by grace, to some, seems to mean to be placed in such a relation to God that at the end of the earthly life one enters glory, provided the one has been faithful to God and has lived according to certain moral standards. It may not be stated as definitely as this, but this is the meaning of salvation according to many today.

The doctrinal epistles of the Bible tell of a great many things that are true of the one who has been saved. These are all spoken of as being fully accomplished. There is no mention of growth or development of any one of them. They are always considered as being final. The following is only an incomplete list of these things. It is not necessary to enumerate all in order to prove that the one who has been saved is in an unalterable condition.

The saved person has been redeemed from under the law (Galatians 4:5) and the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13) by an eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12). He is dead to the law (Romans 7:4) and shall not come into condemnation (John 5:24, Romans 8:1). He is reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18) and is at peace with Him (Colossians 1:20). He is justified (Romans 5:1), and all trespasses have been forgiven (Colossians 2:13). He has been delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the Kingdom of the Son of God (Colossians 1:13). He has been born again of incorruptible seed (1 Peter 1:23), is a son of God (John 1:12) , and has eternal life (John 5:24). He is a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). He is perfected forever (Hebrews 10:14), is complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10), and has been accepted of God (Ephesians 1:6). He has been born of the Spirit (John 3:6) baptized by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13) is indwelt by the Spirit who abides forever (John 14:16,17), and sealed by the Spirit until the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). He has become the object of God's love (Ephesians 2:4), of His grace (Romans 6:14), of His power (Ephesians 1:19), and of His faithfulness (1 Corinthians 1:9). He is a citizen of heaven (Ephesians 2.19, Philippians 3:20), is seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6), and is already glorified (Romans 8:30).

All of the above and more too, God says of the one who has been saved. Before the one who has been saved can be lost, every one of these things must be made void. Is that possible? God's Word is absolutely silent as to any such possibility. This should be final, for it is only through His revelation that these facts are known to man.

Can one who has been redeemed by an eternal redemption be brought back into bondage? Can one who is dead to the law be made alive to it? Can one within the Kingdom of God be taken out of it? Can one being born again of incorruptible seed and having eternal life die? Can one that has been perfected forever be found imperfect? Can one that is complete in Christ become incomplete? These are eternal in their very nature, and therefore are unalterable.

--J.F. Strombeck

Friday, June 4, 2010

Peter's Heart

Is the believer's heart still "deceitful above all things"? (Jeremiah 17:9). Or has God's work of regeneration and the implanting of a new nature and the indwelling Spirit of God solved this problem for those who follow Christ?

In Matthew 26:33 we read Peter's confident words: "Though all men shall be offended because of Thee, yet will I never be offended." Could this one, who had followed in the footsteps of Christ for those years, been witness to His miracles and His glory, heard His public teaching and private instruction, who professed "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God"--could this one be so deceived by his own heart? Yet it wasn't long before we see Peter denying the Lord, cursing, and swearing.

Little did Peter realize that those things were in his heart, ready to burst forth when the occasion presented itself. Little did this one, who was ready to go with the Lord "to prison and to death" (Luke 22:33) know that he would soon be found wielding a sword.

If we go back to the previous scenes we will see what led to his stumbling. While Jesus was in the garden praying, Peter was sleeping. Before that, at the last supper, while John was "leaning on Jesus' bosom," Peter was far enough removed from the Lord that he needed to get John to ask Him a question (John 13:23,24). Thus, it is no surprise that when Jesus was brought before the high priest, John went in with Him, while Peter stood outside (John 18:15,16).

Is it not the same with us? If our heart is not occupied with Jesus, the very sins we would despise even the thought of, might be those to which we are unwittingly led through one step of temptation to another. "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool" (Proverbs 28:26). "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Let us learn these lessons from Peter: Instead of slumbering, pray! Instead of following Christ afar off, lean on Him! Instead of trusting your own resolutions, rely on His grace! Instead of following your heart, walk in the Spirit!

From Moments For You Magazine 3rd Qtr 2002

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Facing the 21st Century

Excerpt from "How God Makes Known the Riches of His Glory to the Vessels of Mercy" by John Piper

You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory. -Romans 9:19-23

Have you ever considered - I am asking you to consider - that what is coming to us in the 21st century may be so catastrophic, so unprecedented in this country, that everything we ever knew of earthly securities will fail, and that this God, the God of Romans 9 - the God that, in our three centuries of American security and comfort and luxury could be so easily marginalized - that this God may be precisely the God perfectly suited to take on the challenge of Islam, and shield us from false teachings within the church, and be big enough to give you hope when the whole world seems to collapse and then rise in rebellion against Christ? Are you sure that your inherited God is the Biblical God? Is your God big enough and majestic enough and sovereign enough to be the God of the 21st century and of the world that we see developing around us?

Read or listen to the full sermon here.

HT: Truth Matters

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Total Depravity

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked" (Jeremiah 17:9).

Many object to the doctrine of total depravity on the ground that all men are capable of some good, even if unsaved. All of us recognize the value of decency in behavior, a kind spirit, generosity in caring for the needy, and similar virtues which are frequently seen in unconverted and even positively godless men and women. How, then, it is asked, can they be said to be totally depraved? Dr. Joseph Cook, the great Boston lecturer of the latter half of the nineteenth century, answers this question with the following illustration.

He had in his home a very beautiful and valuable clock. It had an exceedingly handsome case, a very fine set of works, a nice-appearing dial, and elegantly finished hands. It was altogether a good clock to look at, but it had one fault. It simply would not, or could not, keep time. It had been gone over by many different clock makers, but no one had been able to correct this fault. As a timepiece it was totally depraved!

Is not this like man, even at his best, if he has not been born again? There may be much about him that others can admire, but he is positively unable to do the will of the Lord because his heart is utterly estranged from God and therefore, as far as holiness is concerned, he is totally depraved. Only the new birth--regeneration by the Word and Spirit of God--can enable him to keep in line with the divine will as laid down in the Holy Scriptures. However righteous he may appear in the eyes of his fellows, because of this fatal defect all his righteousness is as filthy rags in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6).


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Does Your Life Match Your Profession?

Excerpt from the message Doers Not Just Hearers by Pastor Ron Bridge

Having or knowing the law requires one to glorify God (Romans 2:23-24).

Paul quotes Isaiah 52:5 which was a reference to the Captivity. Israel boasted in an all powerful God. But because they did not obey God they were defeated and taken from their land. The Assyrians and then the Babylonians blasphemed God as being weaker than their gods. The Jews did not consider that God's reputation was either glorified or despised by their conduct. They boasted in the law and in their relationship with God and yet the history of Israel is a tragic tale of constant failure - of running after other gods, of being self seeking instead of God honoring, of arrogance instead of humility.

Church people can, and do the same thing. I have had several experiences over the years of knowing people who insist that they are born again, but it is obvious that their lives do not match their profession (as an aside I think that the more a person insists - protests - that they are saved, the greater the likelihood that they are not). But, it is also obvious to unbelievers as well. This, my friends is the most serious thing. If you profess to be a Christian but fail to live up to that profession the world will soon recognize your hypocrisy - and rightly so. In fact, is that not one of the most common reasons why unbelievers won't enter a church?

When life and profession fail to correspond, the potential exists for God to be blasphemed. No one wants to stand before the judgment seat of God to answer to that charge! Therefore it is incumbent on each one of us to make sure that our lives do not bring discredit to God. Listen to what William Hendriksen writes about the life of a genuine Christian: "Precisely because they have been delivered from [judgement], they are all the more deeply obliged not only to hear but to obey the gospel. By their good deeds, resulting from gratitude, they show that by God's sovereign grace and power they have given their hearts to Him. In Him alone do they place their trust. From Him alone they have received their status of being righteous in God's eyes."

If we are truly saved, our lives will match our profession. Our aim will be to bring honor and glory to God in all that we do. The thought of causing God's name to be despised or blasphemed would be just about the worst thing we could imagine. We will be doers of the word and not hearers only, not to be right with God, but because we are right with God through His grace and our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Are you right with God or have you been playing the hypocrite? Does your life match your profession? Do you love the gospel and the law and love to obey His word? Are you right with God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Listen to the full sermon here.

Justification by Faith - John MacArthur

The Reformation doctrine of justification by faith is, and has always been, the number one target of the enemy's attack. It provides the foundation of the bridge that reconciles God and man--without that key doctrine, Christianity falls. But the doctrine that the Reformers so painstakingly clarified, even spilled blood over, has become so muddled today that many Protestants barely recognize it. Sadly, there are some who react against a clear presentation of justification, calling it nothing more than useless hair-splitting.

The superficial interests of the seeker church have caused doctrinal issues to be downplayed and deemphasized--what "unchurched" person wants to come hear about theology? Under the influence of pragmatism, the seeker-sensitive movement has traded God-honoring doctrinal clarity and biblical purity for entertainment and motivational speeches.

Social and political concerns have brought evangelicals and Catholics together in recent years to unite against the forces of secularism. Under the influence of ecumenism, it's difficult for either group to remember what it was that divided them in the first place.

The pragmatists and ecumenicists are aided in their forgetfulness by new theological movements that redefine justification in more Catholic terms. Under the influence of liberalism and postmodernism, proponents of the New Perspective on Paul, the Emergent Church, and others have so confused and redefined the doctrine of justification that it has become shrouded in darkness once again.

The Christian church today is in danger of returning to the Dark Ages. The seeker movement has Christianity turning in its Bibles; the ecumenical movement urges Christians to use worldly means to accomplish temporal ends; and current theological movements look through the lens of philosophy--Enlightenment rationalism and postmodern subjectivism--rather than Scripture. The departure from sola scriptura has led to the departure from sola fide--justification by faith alone.

Back to the Beginning

In the 1500s a fastidious monk, who by his own testimony "hated God," was studying Paul's epistle to the Romans. He couldn't get past the first half of Romans 1:17: "[In the gospel] is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith" (KJV).

One simple, biblical truth changed that monk's life--and ignited the Protestant Reformation. It was the realization that God's righteousness could become the sinner's righteousness--and that could happen through the means of faith alone. Martin Luther found the truth in the same verse he had stumbled over, Romans 1:17: "Therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith" (KJV, emphasis added).

Luther had always seen "the righteousness of God" as an attribute of the sovereign Lord by which He judged sinners--not an attribute sinners could ever possess. He described the breakthrough that put an end to the theological dark ages:
I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that "the just shall live by his faith." Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning, and whereas before the "justice of God" had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressibly sweet in greater love. This passage of Paul became to me a gate to heaven.
Justification by faith was the great truth that dawned on Luther and dramatically altered the church. Because Christians are justified by faith alone, their standing before God is not in any way related to personal merit. Good works and practical holiness do not provide the grounds for acceptance with God. God receives as righteous those who believe, not because of any good thing He sees in them--not even because of His own sanctifying work in their lives--but solely on the basis of Christ's righteousness, which is reckoned to their account. "To the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness" (Romans 4:5). That is justification.

Continue reading here.